Flash: Man Who Thought He Had Chronic Runny Nose Told He Actually Had Leaking Brain

Joe - runny nose-leaking brain

A man who thought he had a chronic runny nose has been told by doctors he actually had a leaking brain.

Joe Nagy from Arizona initially noticed a clear liquid dribbling out of his nose “like tears out of your eyes” once or twice a week, but it soon became a problem week-round.

When he started to take allergy medicine, the runny nose failed to clear up.

After 18 months, he eventually sought the opinion of a specialist after an embarrassing incident in which a dollop splashed on to blueprints for model aeroplanes.

Rather than a runny nose, doctors found that the membrane surrounding Mr Nagy’s brain had a hole in it and his brain fluid was leaking out.

Peter Nakaji, a neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute, said that the brain produces up to 12 ounces of brain fluid a day.

“You don’t really think about it, but our brains are really just above our noses all of the time,” he said.

“This is one of the more common conditions to be missed for a long time … because so many people have runny noses.”

Dr Nakaji was able to find the leak and was able to fix it with routine surgery, although it was complicated by Mr Nagy suffering from a bout of near-deadly meningitis.

Mr Nagy however is now recovering.

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